Zoology & Archaeozoology
Pub Date: 10 Apr 2021
Imprint: East Anglian Archaeology
Series: East Anglian Archaeology Monograph
This volume presents the results of the zooarchaeological analysis of animal bones that were recovered from sixteen sites in Ipswich between 1974 and 1988. The focus of the study is on the animal bones from Middle Saxon (700-850/880), Early Late Saxon (850/880-920), Middle Late Saxon (920-1000) and Early Medieval (1000-1150) sites that were part of the Origins of Ipswich project.
The faunal assemblages from all four periods were composed primarily of cattle, caprines (sheep and goats), pigs, and domestic chickens. Horses were few in number and do not seem to have formed part of the diet after the Middle Saxon period. In terms of NISP (Number of Identified Specimens Per taxon), cattle are always the most numerous animals, followed by pigs and then caprines, but the relative number of sheep and goats increases throughout the Middle Saxon, Late Saxon and Medieval periods. Domestic chickens greatly outnumber domestic geese in all periods. Wild birds and mammals are rare in all the Ipswich assemblages. The most common wild species are red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).
Biometrical data show that the Middle Saxon cattle are comparable in size to the cattle from other Middle Saxon emporia in England. These data also suggest that fewer oxen were sent to market in the later periods and that there was a slight overall decrease in the size of cattle by the Early Medieval period. The Middle Saxon sheep from Ipswich are small and comparable in size to the Middle Saxon sheep from rural East Anglian sites such as Brandon in Suffolk. All the Ipswich horses are the size of large ponies; most are between 130 and 140cm (about 13-14 hands) in withers height. The dog remains from the Late Saxon and Early Medieval contexts in Ipswich include dogs of a range of different sizes. The smallest are about 30cm at the withers; the largest are about 50cm in shoulder height.
Ageing data indicate that Ipswich was supplied with market-aged and older adult cattle, sheep and pigs. Elderly animals and very young animals are rare. These data suggest that the inhabitants of Ipswich obtained their meat from markets throughout the Middle Saxon, Late Saxon and Early Medieval periods.
Pub Date: 15 Mar 2021
Imprint: Oxbow Books
This new collection of papers from leading experts provides an overview of cutting-edge research in Old World zooarchaeology. The research presented here spans various areas across Europe, Western Asia and North Africa – from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Several chapters focus on Iberia, but the eastern Mediterranean and Britain are also featured.
Thematically, the book covers many of the research areas where zooarchaeology can provide a significant contribution. These include animal domestication, bone modifications, fishing, fowling, economic and social status, as well as adaptation and improvement. The investigation of these topics is carried out using a diversity of approaches, thus making the book also a useful compendium of traditional as well as more recently developed methodological applications. All contributions aim to present zooarchaeology as a discipline that studies animals to understand people, and their richly diversified past histories. This will be a valuable source of information not just for specialists, but also for general archaeologists and, potentially, also historians, palaeontologists and geographers, who have an interest for the research themes discussed in the book.
The book is dedicated to Simon Davis, who has been a genuine pioneer in the development of modern zooarchaeology. It presents hugely stimulating case studies from the core areas where Davis has worked in the course of his career.
Pub Date: 15 Feb 2021
Imprint: Windgather Press
The British countryside is on the brink of change. With the withdrawal of EU subsidies, threats of US-style factory farming and the promotion of ‘rewilding’ initiatives, never before has so much uncertainty and opportunity surrounded our landscape. How we shape our prospective environment can be informed by bygone practice, as well as through engagement with livestock and landscapes long since vanished. This study examines aspects of pastoralism that occurred in part of medieval England. It suggests how we learn from forgotten management regimes to inform, shape and develop our future countryside.
This book focuses on a region of southern England the pastoral identity of which has long been synonymous with the economy of sheep pasture and the medieval right of swine pannage. These aspects of medieval pastoralism, made famous by iconic images of the South Downs and the evidence presented by Domesday, mask a pastoral heritage in which a signifi cant part was played by cattle. This aspect of medieval pastoralism is traceable in the region’s historic landscape, documentary evidence and excavated archaeological remains. Past scholars of the South-East have been so concerned with the importance of medieval sheep, and to a slightly lesser extent pigs, that no systematic examination of the cattle economy has ever been undertaken. This book therefore represents a deep, multi-disciplinary study of the cattle economy over the longue durée of the Middle Ages, especially its importance within the evolution of medieval society, settlement and landscape.
Nationally, medieval cattle have been one of the most important and neglected aspects of the agriculture of the medieval period. This book shows us how, as part of both a mixed and specialised farming economy, they have helped shapethe countryside we know today.
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2020
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The book draws on the evidence of landscape archaeology, palaeoenvironmental studies, ethnohistory and animal tracking to address the neglected topic of how we identify and interpret past patterns of movement in the landscape. It challenges the pessimism of previous generations which regarded prehistoric routes such as hollow ways as generally undatable.
The premise is that archaeologists tend to focus on ‘sites’ while neglecting the patterns of habitual movement that made them part of living landscapes. Evidence of past movement is considered in a multi-scalar way from the individual footprint to the long distance path including the traces created in vegetation by animal and human movement. It is argued that routes may be perpetuated over long timescales creating landscape structures which influence the activities of subsequent generations. In other instances radical changes of axes of communication and landscape structures provide evidence of upheaval and social change. Palaeoenvironmental and ethnohistorical evidence from the American North West coast sets the scene with evidence for the effects of burning, animal movement, faeces deposition and transplantation which can create readable routes along which are favoured resources.
Evidence from European hunter-gatherer sites hints at similar practices of niche construction on a range of spatial scales. On a local scale, footprints help to establish axes of movement, the locations of lost settlements and activity areas. Wood trackways likewise provide evidence of favoured patterns of movement and past settlement location. Among early farming communities alignments of burial mounds, enclosure entrances and other monuments indicate axes of communication. From the middle Bronze Age in Europe there is more clearly defined evidence of trackways flanked by ditches and fields. Landscape scale survey and excavation enables the dating of trackways using spatial relationships with dated features and many examples indicate long-term continuity of routeways. Where fields flank routeways a range of methods, including scientific approaches, provide dates.
Prehistorians have often assumed that Ridgeways provided the main axes of early movement but there is little evidence for their early origins and rather better evidence for early routes crossing topography and providing connections between different environmental zones. The book concludes with a case study of the Weald of South East England which demonstrates that some axes of cross topographic movement used as droveways, and generally considered as early medieval, can be shown to be of prehistoric origin. One reason that dryland routes have proved difficult to recognise is that insufficient attention has been paid to the parts played by riverine and maritime longer distance communication. It is argued that understanding the origins of the paths we use today contributes to appreciation of the distinctive qualities of landscapes. Appreciation will help to bring about effective strategies for conservation of mutual benefit to people and wildlife by maintaining and enhancing corridors of connectivity between different landscape zones including fragmented nature reserves and valued places. In these ways an understanding of past routeways can contribute to sustainable landscapes, communities and quality of life.
Pub Date: 22 Sep 2019
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pub Date: 22 Sep 2019
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Ancient Egyptians always had an intense and complex relationship with animals in daily life as well as in religion. Despite the fact that research on this relationship has been a topic of study, gaps in our knowledge still remain. This volume presents well over 30 contributions that explore Human-Animal relationships from the Predynastic to the Roman period. The essays cover topics such as animal husbandry, mummification, species-specific studies, the archaeology and economy of the animal cults, funerary practices, iconography and symbolism. The contribution of archaeometrical methods, such as DNA analyses, balms’ analyses, AMS dating, radiography, and 3D imaging, are also represented as these play a significant role in furthering our understanding of the human-animal relationship in Egypt. The range of subject matter and contributors are indicative of the importance of animals and the role that they played in ancient Egypt and Nubia, and emphasises the need for continued inter- and multidisciplinary studies on the subject. The research outlined in this volume has helped, for example, to better identify ways of sourcing the animals used in mummification, contributed to establishing the eras during which animal mummification became common, and highlighted new techniques for acquiring DNA. The fresh insights and diversity of topics makes the volume of interest for professionals (Egyptologists, (archaeo-)zoologists and historians), as well as those who are interested in Egyptology and in the relationship between humans and animals. ‘Creatures of Earth, Water and Sky’ is the result of the first international conference ever dedicated to animals in ancient Egypt and Nubia (the International Symposium on Animals in Ancient Egypt, ISAAE 1, June 1-3 2016, held in Lyon).
Pub Date: 08 Jun 2018
Imprint: Mimesis International
The human-animal relationship has always been characterized by a wide net of interactions and exchanges. By providing an overview of the concept of animality - and of the several meanings attached to it - this book aims at rethinking the real nature of this notion, towards a new definition of both the human and the animal. The authors highlight the need to overcome the traditional tendency to read the animal merely as a symbol, a metaphor or an allegory, whose only purpose is that of representing and negotiating human power relations of race, class, and gender. Within this context, the edited collection Bestiarium intends to contribute to the present debate on Animal Studies, by focusing on literary texts and discursive practices, which reveal the epistemological and cultural dynamics that structure the very representation of the animal.
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2018
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Animals have always been integral to culture. Their interaction with humans has intensified since the onset of domestication resulting in higher incidences of animal disease due to human intervention. At the same time, human care has counter-balanced pressures of natural selection, reducing morbidity among wild animals. Prior to the emergence of a veterinary record, animal disease can only be traced by analysing pathological symptoms on excavated animal remains. This volume presents a collection of studies in the discipline of animal palaeopathology. An international team of experts offer reviews of animal welfare at ancient settlements from both prehistoric and historic periods across Eurasia.
Several chapters are devoted to the diseases of dog and horse, two animals of prominent emotional importance in many civilisations. Curious phenomena observed on the bones of poultry, sheep, pig and even fish are discussed within their respective cultural contexts. Many poorly healed bones are suggestive of neglect in the case of ordinary livestock. On the other hand, a great degree of compassion may be presumed behind the long survival of seriously ill companion animals. In addition to furthering our better technical understanding of animal disease in the past, this volume also mirrors the diversity of human attitudes towards animals during our millennia-long relationship. Some animal bones show signs of extreme cruelty but others also reveal the great attention paid to the recovery of sick animals. Such attitudes tend to be a largely hidden yet are characteristic aspects of how people relate to the surrounding world and, ultimately, to each other.
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2017
Imprint: Sidestone Press
How people produced or acquired their food in the past is one of the main questions in archaeology. Everyone needs food to survive, so the ways in which people managed to acquire it forms the very basis of human existence. Farming was key to the rise of human sedentarism. Once farming moved beyond subsistence, and regularly produced a surplus, it supported the development of specialisation, speeded up the development of socio-economic as well as social complexity, the rise of towns and the development of city states. In short, studying food production is of critical importance in understanding how societies developed.
Environmental archaeology often studies the direct remains of food or food processing, and is therefore well-suited to address this topic. What is more, a wealth of new data has become available in this field of research in recent years. This allows synthesising research with a regional and diachronic approach.
Indeed, most of the papers in this volume offer studies on subsistence and surplus production with a wide geographical perspective. The research areas vary considerably, ranging from the American Mid-South to Turkey. The range in time periods is just as wide, from c. 7000 BC to the 16th century AD. Topics covered include foraging strategies, the combination of domestic and wild food resources in the Neolithic, water supply, crop specialisation, the effect of the Roman occupation on animal husbandry, town-country relationships and the monastic economy. With this collection of papers and the theoretical framework presented in the introductory chapter, we wish to demonstrate that the topic of subsistence and surplus production remains of interest, and promises to generate more exciting research in the future.
Pub Date: 31 May 2017
Imprint: Atlantic Books
Man has always been fascinated by Equus caballus, recasting horse power into many forms: a hunk of meat, an industrial and agricultural machine, a luxury good, a cherished dancer, a comrade in arms and a symbol of a mythical past. From the wild tarpans sought by the Nazis to jade-laden treasure steeds in Ancient China, broken-down nags recycled into sausages and furniture stuffing, stallions that face fighting bulls and brewery horses that charmed the founder of the Sikh Empire, The Age of the Horse knits the history of the horse into that of humans, through revolution, war, social change and uneasy peace. It also uncovers new roles for the horse in the twenty-first century as a tool in the fight against climate change and as a therapist for soldiers damaged in unwinnable conflicts.
In this captivating book, Susanna Forrest takes a journey through time and around the world, from the Mongolian steppes to a mirrored manège at Versailles, an elegant polo club in Beijing and a farm, a fort and an auction house in America, exploring the horse's crucial role and revealing how our culture and economy were generated, nourished and shaped by horse power and its gifts and limits.
Pub Date: 26 May 2017
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Economic archaeology is the study of how past peoples exploited animals and plants, using as evidence the remains of those animals and plants. The animal side is usually termed zooarchaeology, the plant side archaeobotany. What distinguishes them from other studies of ancient animals and plants is that their ultimate aim is to find out about human behaviour – the animal and plant remains are a means to this end. The 33 papers present a wide array of topics covering many areas of archaeological interest. Aspects of method and theory, animal bone identification, human palaeopathology, prehistoric animal utilisation in South America, and the study of dog cemeteries are covered. The long-running controversy over the milking of animals and the use of dairy products by humans is discussed as is the ecological impact of hunting by farmers, with studies from Serbia and Syria. For Britain, coverage extends from Mesolithic Star Carr, via the origins of agriculture and the farmers of Lismore Fields, through considerations of the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Outside Britain, papers discuss Neolithic subsistence in Cyprus and Croatia, Iron Age society in Spain, Medieval and post-medieval animal utilisation in northern Russia, and the claimed finding of a modern red deer skeleton in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. In exploring these themes, this volume celebrates the life and work of Tony Legge (zoo)archaeologist and teacher.
Pub Date: 24 Feb 2017
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Sir Elton John, blind fish, the original Twinkie, President Ronald Reagan's Secret Service detail, and mummies don't usually come up in the same conversation -- unless you're at Mammoth Cave National Park! Home to the earth's longest known cave system, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest tourist attractions in North America. Although this remarkable place has been immortalized in works ranging from Herman Melville's Moby Dick to H. P. Lovecraft's "The Beast in the Cave," the realities of life at Mammoth Cave can be stranger than fiction.
In this charming book, Colleen O'Connor Olson takes readers on a tour through a labyrinth of topics. She discusses scientific subjects such as the fossils of prehistoric animals and the secret lives of subterranean critters, and she provides essential information on dating in the cave (the age of rocks and artifacts, not courtship). Olson also explores Mammoth Cave's rich history, covering its use as the world's first tuberculosis sanatorium as well as its operation as a saltpeter mine during the War of 1812, and shares the inspirational story of the park's first female ranger.
Throughout, Olson offers up humorous accounts of celebrity visits and astounding adventures and even includes a chapter dedicated to jokes told in the cave over the years. Whether you're visiting the national park, thinking about visiting, or just curious about a place recognized as one of the world's greatest natural wonders, don't miss this delightful guide to the wild and wonderful subterranean world of Mammoth Cave.
Pub Date: 17 Feb 2017
Imprint: Oxbow Books
This two part volume brings together over 60 specialists to present 31 papers on the latest research into archaeozoology of the Near East. The papers are wide-ranging in terms of period and geographical coverage: from Palaeolithic rock shelter assemblages in Syria to Byzantine remains in Palestine and from the Caucasus to Cyprus. Papers are grouped into thematic sections examining patterns of Palaeolithic and Neolithic subsistence in northern Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Iranian plateau; Palaeolithic to Neolithic faunal remains from Armenia; animal exploitation in Bronze Age urban sites; new evidence concerning pastoralism, nomadism and mobility; aspects of domestication and animal exploitation in the Arabian peninsula; several case studies on ritual animal deposits; and specific analyses of patterns of animal exploitation at urban sites in Turkey, Palestine and Jordan. This important collection of significant new work builds on the well-established foundation of previous ICAZ publications to present the very latest results of archaeozoological research in the prehistory of this formative region in the development of animal exploitation.
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2017
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Although the bioarchaeology (study of biological remains in an archaeological context) of Egypt has been documented in a desultory way for many decades, it is only recently that it has become an inherent part of excavations in Egypt. This volume consists of a series of essays that explore how ancient plant, animal, and human remains should be studied, and how, when they are integrated with texts, images, and artefacts, they can contribute to our understanding of the history, environment, and culture of ancient Egypt in a holistic manner.
Topics covered in this volume relating to human remains include analyses of royal, elite and poor cemeteries of different eras, case studies on specific mummies, identification of different diseases in human remains, an overview of the state of palaeopathology in Egypt, how to analyse burials to establish season of death, the use of bodies to elucidate life stories, the potential of visceral remains in identifying individuals as well as diseases that they might have had, and a protocol for studying mummies. Faunal remains are represented by a study of a canine cemetery and a discussion of cat species that were mummified, and dendroarchaeology is represented by an overview of its potentials and pitfalls for dating Egyptian remains and revising its chronology.
Leading international specialists from varied disciplines including physical anthropology, radiology, archaeozoology, Egyptology, and dendrochronology have contributed to this groundbreaking volume of essays that will no doubt provide much fodder for thought, and will be of interest to scholars and laypeople alike.
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Proceedings of the 9th ICAZ Conference
Human migration tends to involve more than the odd suitcase or two - we often carry other organisms on our travels, some are deliberately transported, others move by accident. This volume of 12 papers offers a zooarchaeological approach to questions surrounding the nature and extent of human colonisation and migration, and the adaptation of humans to new and sometimes extreme or challenging environments. The volume is divided into two parts: Part 1 takes up the theme of Human and Animal Migration and Colonisation. Contributors consider the relationship between human movements and the movements of animals and animal products; case studies look at Neolithic population movements in Oceania, the Norse colonisation of Greenland, and the European settlement of Virginia. Part 2 focuses on the topic of Behavioural Variability in the So-Called Marginal Areas. Contributors offer various interpretations of the concept of 'marginality', from climatic extremes of the Arctic cold, and the heat and aridity of western North America, to the geographical remoteness of Patagonia, and the cultural circumstances surrounding the beginnings of transhumant pastoralism in prehistoric southeastern Europe.
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
This book is the first in a series of volumes which form the published proceedings of the 9th meeting of the International Council of Archaeozoology (ICAZ), held in Durham in 2002. The 35 papers present a series of case studies from around the world. They stretch beyond the standard zooarchaeological topics of economy and ecology, and consider how zooarchaeological research can contribute to our understanding of human behaviour and social systems. The volume is divided into two parts.
Part 1, Beyond Calories, focuses on the zooarchaeology of ritual and religion. Contributors discuss ways to approach questions of ritual and religion through the faunal record, and consider how material culture depicting and/or associated with animals can provides clues about ideology, religious practices and the role of animals within spiritual systems.
Part 2, Equations for Inequality, looks at questions of identity, status and other forms of social differentiation in former human societies. Contributors discuss how differences in food consumption, nutrition, and food procurement strategies can be related to various forms of social differentiation among individuals and groups.